• London 2012 - swimming

Adlington stunned by 400m freestyle bronze

ESPN staff
July 30, 2012
Rebecca Adlington shows off her bronze medal © PA Photos

An emotional Rebecca Adlington admits she did not expect to win anything at the London Olympics on Sunday, but is ready to use her bronze medal in the 400m freestyle as inspiration ahead of her 800m title defence.

Armitstead silver gives GB first medal

Medal Table

Adlington battled her way onto the podium from lane eight in the final behind France's Camille Muffat and American Allison Schmitt. The Brit, who claimed the 400m and 800m double in Beijing four years ago, says she is hoping the home crowd can now roar her home in her favoured event on Friday.

"I have to be honest and say I wasn't expecting a medal," said Adlington. "I was in lane eight and I haven't been focusing that much on the 400m in training or racing. The 800m is my race and this definitely sets me up for that.

"I'm going to have to fight like hell to get a medal. I know the 800m is going to be a fight, exactly the same as the 400m.

"I know it's going to be extremely tough but I am going to try my absolute hardest, just as I did on Sunday, and hopefully the crowd can pick me up as they did then and I can pick up that performance."

Adlington used Lizzie Armitstead's silver medal performance in the road race as inspiration heading into Sunday's final, and believes the achievements of Great Britain's female athletes can kick-start the Olympic campaign.

"I saw Lizzie Armitstead take the silver in the road race and I just thought, 'girl power, come on the girls'," Adlington said. "Hopefully we can get the whole thing going now and more medals will follow for Great Britain.

"It's good to see the girls doing so well in the sport. The males have been ruling the roost for so long so I guess it's about time we got involved."

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